John Harper’s Last Convert

John Harper's Last Convert Sermon Illustration

Sometimes trusting in our spiritual flotation device means ridding ourselves of a physical one. Scottish evangelist John Harper boarded the Titanic in April 1912. Those who survived that fateful night recall Harper floating in the cold, deadly water, calling out to those around him, “Are you saved?” He ended up taking his own life vest off and throwing toward a young man, saying, “You need this more than I do!” and Harper soon sank below the water’s surface. In a reunion of Titanic survivors four years later, that same young man emerged and called himself “John Harper’s last convert.” Harper knew where he was going, but he did not know the fate of this other man who ended up becoming a Christ follower. He gave his own life vest in hopes of giving the man time to know and discover Jesus as his Savior (Erwin W. Lutzer, “John Harper’s Last Convert,” Moody Church Media, 2012, christmas-one-minute-you-die/).